Our Industry Has A Carbon Issue
Most clothes are made using energy from coal-fueled power plants. This adds warming gases into the air we breathe and accelerates the climate crisis. In just one year, the clothing industry will contribute 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions into our air. That’s as many emissions as international flights and maritime shipping combined.
We’re letting go of virgin materials.
Our Post-Consumer Recycling
Post-consumer refers to any finished product that has been used then diverted from landfills at the end of its life. This includes anything that you throw in the recycling bin at home or at designated textile-collection bins.
60% of the world’s clothing is made from polyester, a plastic made from oil. Using recycled polyester lessens our dependence on fossil fuels and keeps plastic bottles out of landfills.
More than 700,000 tons of industrial fishing gear are lost in the ocean each year. Our chemically recycled nylon is made from used fishing nets, carpets and pre-consumer plastic waste.
More than 10 million tons of textile waste end up in the landfill each year. Using recycled down reduces CO2 emissions by 44% compared to virgin down.
Virgin wool uses energy, water and chemicals to convert sheep fleece into fabric. Using recycled wool reduces CO2 emissions by 44% compared to virgin wool.
Our Pre-Consumer Recycling
Sometimes referred to as “post-industrial,” pre-consumer waste is created during the manufacturing process, like fabric scraps or yarn waste from weaving mills and spinning factories. The recycled yarn is sometimes mixed with other materials, like polyester, to ensure there is no loss in performance.
Nylon is a type of plastic made from crude oil. By using recycled nylon, we are reducing emissions and limiting our dependence on fossil fuels.
It takes about 173 gallons of water to produce one pound of conventional cotton. By using recycled cotton, we save water and reduce CO2 emissions by 80% compared to conventional cotton.
Due to overgrazing by cashmere goats, 65% of Mongolia's grasslands have been degraded. We use recycled cashmere to limit our impact on land and water.
We Need the Clothing Industry to Change
Less than 1% of material used to make clothing gets turned into new clothing every year. To truly make an impact, we need industry-wide change. If the clothing industry recycled at the same rate as Patagonia, we could reduce the equivalent emissions needed to power every household in California for one year.*
*Patagonia has removed 20,000 tons of CO2e by using recycled content in one year. If we all did this together, we could remove 114,000,000 tons of CO2e. The calculation is based on extrapolating Patagonia’s current fabric mix (75% polyester, 12% cotton, 5% nylon, 2% down, 1% wool, 1% hemp and 4% other fiber types). According to the EPA emissions calculator, 114,000,000 metric tons of CO2e is equal to the amount of CO2e that results from the energy used in ~13,651,060 homes. According to census data, the total number of households in California is 13 million.